Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

MA in Child Development


Child Development Graduate Program


For people with low literacy who come from other cultures, accessing, understanding and using the United States healthcare system is challenging. Existing literature states that low parental health literacy among the Latino population is related to poor health outcomes for their children. This project explores Latino caregiver’s health practices and the possible uses of technology, specifically Smartphone applications (apps), to provide information about their child’s health care. The project included two focus group sessions (one in English, one in Spanish) with a total of 17 caregivers who attend a Head Start Program. The focus groups addressed two aims: (1) to understand caregivers' current knowledge and issues concerning medication management for their children; (2) to assess the current use and effectiveness of existing technology by caregivers to obtain health information. The findings suggest that caregivers are interested and could benefit from a culturally appropriate and linguistically responsive Smartphone health app. While both focus groups discussed features they would like to see in a health app, the Spanish-speaking group emphasized their personal experiences with access, communication with providers, and challenges with navigating the health care system. Caregivers identified a lack of trust that they have with the medical system which suggests the need for education of health care providers to improve their communication skills and understanding of the needs of the Latino population.